Student Leadership is not simply performing the duties you have been given, it is being creative and commencing valuable initiatives in your school community as well. We interviewed Duncan Tolmie (pictured), Academic Captain of Westlake Boys’ High School, who is is a great example of this.
Duncan leads an Academic Council of 21 students who were amongst 100 students that nominated themselves and completed a rigorous application process in order to earn their positions. The responsibilities of Duncan and his team include organising a study room, a study breakfast, peer tutoring, a book scholarship program, fundraisers for academics and more. The highlight of Duncan’s leadership journey so far however, is his study information evening
After years of tutoring his peers in English and Maths, Duncan identified that the most common challenge for students is how to approach their school work from home. He concluded that students were not spending enough time thinking about how-to study and approach self-learning. From this, Duncan decided he wanted to influence the students at his school in order to help them increase their success in this area. The study information evening was planned to be an event that would be engaging and able to reach a wide range of students.
With support from staff at his school, the event proved to be a major success with over 1000 students attending along with their parents. Students learnt about a range of topics, gaining techniques for how to manage their overall organisation as well as hearing a more specific focus on certain areas such as how to memorise for English.
Duncan has shared that, “in life, our legacy is not the things we accumulate, but the lives we impact,” and his leadership has been a first-hand example of this. His role as the Academic Captain is an opportunity to impact the students at his school in a positive way, helping them to achieve their own unique academic goals.
The Academic Council also launched a Facebook Page off the back of the event which has proven to also be a very successful initiative. The team plan to share the recording of the information evening to this page later in the year when students may need to be refreshed on the skills and information they learnt. It was clear the study information evening had a significant impact on the students at Westlake and Duncan hopes this impact will be long lasting as well.
Duncan gives credit to the whole Academic Council for this year’s success and values the opportunity he has had to contribute to other emerging leaders at his school.